Right now, there is a two bedroomed house being built in my garden for my ex-Father in law – yes I know sounds weird, but we all love each other still.
It has been the most straightforward and enjoyable experience.
The tradies and builders coming and going each day have been charming, well turned out, polite and a pleasure. Their Mothers would be proud! The house should be finished in the next eight weeks and my Father in law will be moving in.
Other than having a new residence on my land, one of the biggest revelations to me has been talking to the tradespeople who arrive each day and witnessing the change in their working behaviour and the way business is done by our Aussie tradies and builders. My own Father was a builder and it struck me that even industries such as the trade, which may have once seemed immune to using technology or going digital, are joining the rank of industries that are changing forever. Apart from the pleasure in the process, I am facing a daily practical reality that no business sector is immune to the digital and technology revolution. Why? These young tradesmen get their jobs through the internet – the Yellow Pages their Mothers would have used appear to be no longer.
Although we are all becoming used to new technology, what is surprising is the changes in business operations for a far wider range of industry than perhaps you would first guess. Thinking back to the industrial revolution, steam was cutting edge and empowered businesses in new ways – in this age, it is digital technology in the form of ecommerce and online search and purchasing that is transforming everyone’s lives.
This week, I’ve had first-hand experience of our young and highly skilled craftsmen – electricians, plumbers, plasterers, painters – using online trading sites such as hipages.com.au to grow their business. hipages.com.au works like an online matching service. Tradies pay a fee to the online site and are then matched to over half a million consumers. That means people like you and me can reach a database of 40,000 registered tradies, allowing us to find tradespeople quickly and easily across 1,100 categories. It saves time and money.
In facilitating nearly 40,000 jobs a month across 1,100 categories, hipages.com.au aims to connect Australia’s 250,000 tradies with home owners and residents of the 8.3 million homes in Australia. The beauty is this doesn’t just help us as consumers, it helps tradespeople through the use of technology online to build their revenue.
There is no doubt the rapid evolution of technology has dramatically revolutionised how business is conducted across all sectors and I see it every day at home. If my son and I want to go the cinema, he books it on Hoyts online. If my teenage daughters want to buy clothes, they shop on line. If I want my groceries delivered, I order online. If we order pizza, we don’t phone, we order online and then my son watches online as the pizza progresses through the preparation, cooking, being boxed, loaded and where it is on the delivery journey. He seems to get up to answer the door as the delivery boy pulls up at our home.
In other areas of everyday life, Shoes of Prey Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Jodie Fox runs an online shoe store that allows you to design your own shoe. Jodie has founded a business that allows you to customise and design your own dream shoe and then ship anywhere in the world in four weeks. They are an Aussie company and growing fast.
Businesses such as hipages.com.au, Eat Now and Shoes of Prey are connecting a consumer need at the right time, for the right price and we can access every day goods and products through our smartphones and tablets. Life is changing in Australia for good. We are indeed the lucky country.